Developed by the Rootes Group, the Humber armored car was one of the most produced armored car of the Second World War. The vehicle was a combination of the Karrier KT4 artillery tractor chassis and the armored body from Guy Armoured Car. Production started in 1941, with the 11th Hussars being the first unit to deploy the vehicle in North Africa. The armored car went on to serve with the British and Canadian infantry division in Europe.
The latest kit from Bronco Models
is the Mark III variant, which was the first to provide a 3-man turret.
16 Plastic Sprues
5 Plastic outer wheel sections (treads)
1 Clear Plastic Sprue
2 Frets of Photo-Etched
1 Length of String
1 Sheet of Decals
1 Instruction Booklet
Opening the box, for anyone familiar with this series of armored cars from Bronco
, won't be surprised by the large number of sprues and parts. The box is full of sprues, molded in the typical Bronco Models
tan plastic. A look at the sprues shows very well molded plastic parts, no visible flash, sink marks, or any ejector marks that will get in the way. The details, including the MANY finer parts all have great looking details, including the interior walls, as the kit does include a full interior.
Just to be clear, while there are a lot of sprues, there are also a lot of smaller parts. These include parts for the very well detailed looking engine and interior, including the turret. If there is one major drawback to this kit, it could just be the sheer number of parts, and the fact some are very small. There will need to be great care when removing these parts from the sprues to prevent the carpet monster from gobbling them up or breaking the part. I would recommend a good razor saw.
To add to the well detailed plastic is two small frets of photo-etched parts. There is also a sprue of green molded plastic with some extra accessories, to include some helmets, weapons, and packs. Also included is a length of string for the tow rope.
The instruction "booklet" from Bronco
may be an understatement, it is more like a novel. It contains 30 pages, with construction spread over 50 steps. The instructions are mostly wire frame instruction, but there are some colored CAD images included in a few spots to show better part alignment and/or photo-etched shaping. Color references are abound through-out the instructions referencing Mr.Hobby, Hobby Color, Humbrol, and Tamiya paints.
The flow of the instructions starts with assembly of the engine and transmission. This is then followed by the assembly of the frame and mounting of engine and transmission. Having built the Humber Scout Car in the past, I can vouch for a well detailed engine and transmission, and if you want to leave the bonnet open, I would suggest a few wire bits for the final details.
From there, assembly continues with the inner detail in the lower hull, and again as with the scout car variant I built, this is a full and extensive interior. There are even decal for the small instrument panel. A lot of these parts are small, so care and patience will be needed.
The wheels are a multi part assembly, with two inner halves, and an outer ring with the tire tread. This looks to be a good method, as the clean up on the tread detail side will be minimal to none, and the tread detail does look good.
After closing up the interior, which painting and masking will need to be planned, assembly moves to the outer hull detail. And again a lot of small parts and details. Just a helpful tip, I tend to leave off some of the more delicate details to end, as sometimes handling may break them off.
With the lower hull complete, work begins on the Mark III turret, and again, full interior detail. I was a little concerned with I saw the breech area of the main 15mm BESA, until I actually looked up one, while I thought there should have been more detail, the kit parts look correct. The radio in the turret is almost a masterpiece, great molded detail on the face and Bronco
includes photo-etched part to resemble the protection bars on the front.
On the outside of the turret there is also some nice details, including a slide molded hollow end plastic barrel for the BESA 15mm. The Bronco instructions mention to use stretched sprues for the antenna, but I would suggest brass wire, as it is a little stronger.
The instruction include painting and marking for 3 vehicles:
- Unit Unknown (Olive Drab color)
- 4th Reconnaissance Rgt, 4th Infantry Div., Italy 1944 (Light Sand Color)
- B Sqn, 11th Hussars, 2nd Armoured Division, Tripoli 1943 (Light Sand Color)
The decals do look to be printed very well, all in register with good looking colors.
This is a great new variant of the Humber Armored Car from Bronco Models
. The kit has great moldings with even greater details. The only really drawback I can find is that is has a high parts count with many small details parts, this may make is a difficult kit for novice builders. With details, inside and out, this should build into a great looking model, and I highly recommend it.